Freehold, NJ --- Not many trainers are happy to see their horse get an outside post rather than the rail, but Linda Toscano says it was the best thing to happen to Bettor’s Edge last week.
Bettor’s Edge, with Daniel Dube in the sulky, won his Delvin Miller Adios elimination race at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino from post nine -- the most outside starting spot on the gate -- by a nose over Bolt The Duer in a career-best 1:49 last Saturday. It was the gelding’s third win in eight starts this season and followed a spate of “bad luck” where Bettor’s Edge drew post No. 1 in three of his previous four races.
“He’s been kind of an unlucky horse this year,” Toscano said. “It sounds crazy when you say ‘He keeps drawing the rail,’ but the rail is a bad spot for that horse because he can leave enough to get himself in trouble and then he winds up being either in a first-over position or having to sit in.
“He wound up in that spot in both the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace elimination. He sat in both times and he finished up with real good pace with nowhere to go. I’m not going to say a nine hole was a better spot, but at least he got himself where he needed to be. He wound up in a real good spot turning for home and he gritted it out for the win, so I was tickled with him.”
In the North America Cup final, Bettor’s Edge finished sixth, beaten by 3-1/2 lengths by Thinking Out Loud. In his Meadowlands Pace elim, Bettor’s Edge was seventh, beaten by only two lengths despite a :26.2 last quarter-mile. He missed advancing to the Pace final by a half-length.
“We’ve tried him against the varsity group and he’s really not embarrassed himself,” Toscano said. “I feel like the (Adios elimination) win was almost vindication, like maybe we really did belong.”
The draw for Saturday’s $500,000 Adios final is 6:30 Wednesday night at The Meadows and will be aired on “Meadows Live” as part of Dave Palone Night at the western Pennsylvania oval.
Bettor’s Edge is a son of Bettor’s Delight out of the mare Spring Wind. He has won four of 19 career races and earned $162,811 for breeders/owners Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms. Spring Wind, who was a Hayes Memorial winner at Du Quoin in 1999, is a half-sister to 2006 Adios winner Cactus Creek.
“He’s a horse I liked last year,” Toscano said. “We brought him along very slowly, as Brittany wanted me to do, and kept him off the half-mile tracks even though I think he would’ve been a better-than-pretty-good New York Sire Stakes horse. This year they said let’s give him a chance to be a good horse before we find out he’s just a nice horse.
“He raced well in all the races at the end of the year. I think he was coming on. He’s kind of a nice horse. He’s a great gaited horse…he just hasn’t been lucky. I think he’ll only get better. Those Cam Fella-line stallions like Bettor's Delight always do. They get better as they get older.”
Sweet Lou, who was the 2-year-old divisional champ in 2011, is trained by Meadows-based conditioner Ron Burke and has owners with area connections.
“It’s a tough group,” Toscano said. “I think Sweet Lou has got a hair of an edge here on his home track. I think they want this race more than they want any other race. But it’s a deep group.
“Post position and racing luck is going to make a difference.”
Toscano just hopes to get lucky and no